Whether you are a freelance or already have an established small creative business, landing new clients is one of the toughest things you can do. Here are some ideas that should give you some inspiration for finding work and giving your business a profit boost.
Move to a better premises
You could work from the comfort of an office, or you could work from home. But, unless you are in the right environment, you could be missing out on potential business contacts. So, you need to think carefully about where you are located. Shared workspaces are a great idea for sole traders, as they give you a similar environment to an office - and you can exchange ideas and get help with other areas of your business.
Go to trade shows
There are two ways you can approach this. First of all, you could pay for a stand at a trade show and put yourself in front of the right sort of people for your business. You will need to stand out, so consider arriving with a good exhibition design stand. Secondly, you can turn up as a visitor.
Pack a whole pile of business cards and visit every stand - you never know where the opportunities can come from. Don't go on a sales pitch, but have a soft approach speech ready for when you need it.
Look for complementary businesses
The trouble with being creative is that you are often alone, and up against agencies that come as a full package. So, it makes sense to meet people who can compliment your business. If you are a graphic designer, for example, then hooking up with a web designer could lead to some different business avenues for you.
Start a creative group
Starting a creative group is the ideal way of meeting other people in your area that you can partner with. You can quickly organise a monthly meetup using services like EventBrite, or even just try to target the right people on Twitter. Have a look at your local trade directory for people that might be interested. Write the a nice and friendly email outlining your situation, and the chances are that they will be in the same boat. Don’t be shy, and just do it!
picture credit - Impact Hub
Work on your presentations
However successful you are in the idea we have outlined, nobody gets hired to do work on the first meeting. At some point, you are going to have to have another meeting or an interview, so brushing up on your presentation skills is going to be a necessity. If you are the more retiring type, this can be a real stumbling block to getting new clients. But, the key to presentations is to practice - a lot. If you are comfortable with what you have to say, then you can just wing the rest.
Getting a foothold in any creative industry is difficult, particularly if it is your own business. However, if you keep plugging away with the methods mentioned above, you will start to find clients willing to pay you for your work. After that, it is up to you to come up with the goods!